New research has revealed that the press used techniques straight out of the industry’s playbook to fight against the Mayor of London’s flagship policy to restrict unhealthy food advertising.
The Mayor of London’s Healthier Food Advertising Policy has sparked fierce debate in the media since it was consulted on in May 2018. Now, the evaluation carried out by the independently funded team at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine has published the first evaluation paper. It details how the policy was played out in the media in the first year since the consultation.
The researchers analysed 152 articles distributed in the UK or published on UK specific websites. Articles arguing in favour of the policy talked about inequalities and child obesity. But articles arguing against the restrictions focused on two claims: that child obesity was not the ‘right’ priority; and that the restrictions were not an effective way to address child obesity.
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